Bookstooge Reviews 2017

 

 

 

LONG POST AHEAD  – NOT KIDDING – NO REALLY – VERY LONG!!!

 

2017 was quite a different year from 2016 for me, not bad, just very different. Before I run down the differences, I’ll do some quick stats, as I LOVE stats. These stats are only for 2017 unless otherwise stated.

 

Blog  Stats:

Total Posts: 321

Total Views: 15.8K  +/-

Followers: 166 (subject to culling)

 

Book Stats:

Books Read:  194

Pages Read: 67,400 +/-

 

Star Stats: 

 

 

Average Rating –  3.47

 

 

 

General Thoughts’ish:

Here’s my 2016 In Review from last year.  My overall Book and Pages numbers are down but my average rating went up almost 1/4 of a star from 3.25 to 3.47.  Probably because I did a lot of re-reading of excellent books.

 

booklikeslogo

Stopped being active on Booklikes in April. Wrote my Final Booklikes Post then and haven’t looked back since.

 

wp_logo

Made the move to WordPress fulltime. That led to me perusing WP a lot more and hence cut into my reading time. I follow about 60 people and most of them are pretty constant posters. So I’ve spent a lot more time reading blogs than in previous years and that’s ok. People are worth investing in. Plus, now I don’t have to read all those books because I’ve already read the reviews 😉

 

logo4_medium

Using Librarything as my catalogue site and while I post reviews and try to be somewhat active on the forums, I find that the forum format is limiting to how I like to communicate. I can be found at  Bookstooge on LT.

 

calibre

I’ve also fully moved over to Calibre for keeping track of my reviews offline. While it is actually an ebook manager, it works just as well for managing my reviews. Just like a spreadsheet in terms of data but with pretty covers so I can make it a visual experience! That and I can copy it, back it up and not have to worry about losing 17-18 years worth of data.

 

I’ve started doing some varied series of posts.  Some of My Favorite Things came to an end. It was a good time of listing off all of my favorite books and authors. Of course, I then went in the other direction and started the Surviving a Bad Book series which allows me to vent about some of the really bad stuff I’ve read. I’ll continue that this year for sure.  Survival Saturday took me into the dangerous world of food. It also led to a lot of followers who are willing to follow me for just one post a month. Kudos to you, kind folk!

I’ve also created the Movie Category as I’ve found that reviewing a movie here and there allows me cleanse my mind since most movies now are almost all brainless fluff. Action’y, explosion’y fluff mind you, but fluff nonetheless.

My manga reading went well and I loved my time with Eyeshield 21. That was a great sports manga. Now I’m diving into the RomCom Oh My Goddess! and that is a big series that I actually own. Time to make a large dent in it this year!

 

THE BOOKS

Best book of the Year:

This actually is going to get split into 2 categories, as I did a lot of re-reading this year and most of those re-reads were really good books to begin with.

Deadhouse Landing Dancer’s Lament tied for Best New Book. Nothing deep, nothing of real substance but so much fun and worth buying in hardcover.

Gardens of the Moon definitely took the spot for Best Re-read. However, that wasn’t an easy choice for me to make, as I had some seriously other enjoyable books that I Re-Read.

But the world of Malaz took my reading by storm this year.

 

Worst Book of the Year:

I didn’t start using this tag until October, so I just perused my 1/2 star and 1 star books in Calibre. Most of my half-star books this year were because of (im)Moral Content and not necessarily because I hated the book.

The Midden gets this dubious honor. It just left me in a bad mood for 24hrs after I was done. Books have to be extremely bad to do that to me.

A VERY close contender was Light. That piece of excrescence was a boil on my literary butt. Disgusting.

Night Parade is the runner up because it was just so trashy. Poorly written book that gives the Forgotten Realms series the bad rap that it has.

 

Plans for 2018

Not a lot actually. I’ll keep on with the couple of series of posts that I mentioned above.

I want to do a Robin Read in January. Basically, I have 4 Graphic Novels dealing with various Robins [Batman’s sidekick] that I want to read. Lashaan spurred me on in this endeavor when he reviewed Under the Red Hood I plan on reading A Death in the Family, A Hero Reborn, Tragedy & Triumph and finally Under the Red Hood. 

I also plan on reading, and watching Murder on the Orient Express and doing some sort of Buddy Read/Watch with Read, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. A month or so after the dvd for the latest movie comes out. If any of you want to do a Buddy Read at some point, shoot me an email and we can work out details.

Also, since I’m pretty much making WP my home on the web now, I’ll be creating individual posts for all of my old reviews, since I only have them in monthly clumps. So if you follow by email, I apologize ahead of time. Just going to try to work on entries that I’m re-reading though. Not like I’m going to go through and do all 3000+.

I have to admit, my main “selfish” goal is to have that first post that breaks the 100 view mark. I’ve got a couple that are pretty close, but I’m hoping that something I post in 2018 will be the first. That is about the limit of my personal ambition 😀

 

readinglist

Other than that, I’ll continue on with my regular reading schedule. Here’s what that looks like as of now:

Books by Patricia McKillip

Shadows of the Apt

Sacketts

High Priority (currently 5 books in this collection)

Books by Charles Dickens

Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper

Polity

Omega Force

Wayward Pines

Brother Cadfael

Dread Empire

Dread Empire’s Fall (not related to the above series AT ALL)

The Complete Shakespeare

Malaz Empire

Monstrumologist

Bookburners

Misc (currently 6 books in this collection)

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein

Thraxas

Maradaine

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Forgotten Realms: Year of Rogue Dragons

Dune Chronicles

Culture Novels

As I finish one series, I’ll roll another one in from my Calibre Library.

 

Personal: 

Life continues. We got a new pastor in March. His focus appears to be on the churches that he’s in charge of (all 4 of them) and not on climbing up the corporate ladder of the SDA business side of things. That has meant that both me and Mrs B. have spent more time at church doing stuff as we feel that our contributions are actually wanted.

I don’t have any grand plans to expand my blog or to try to grow it any more. I feel comfortable with the number of people I follow and while I’m always glad to welcome new followers (and hopefully new commentors!) I have no desire to become the next rival to Emily May on Goodreads (may she rot for betraying Leafmarks!). I actually stopped posting on Tumblr so I’m back to crossposting just on WordPress, Blogspot and Librarything. I’m finding that is just about the right size of community for me.

I’d really like to thank all of you who follow me and who do like and comment. For all my protestations of blogging for myself and not caring what others think, that’s only somewhat true.  Being an inveterate introvert, I still find myself beset by that weakness of humanity, the need for others. So thank you all for putting up with my rants, my silliness, my stomping around like a 2 year old.  I know none of you has to stick around but you still are here, so thanks for that. At the same time I hope no one ever sticks around if they don’t feel comfortable with any of my content. Don’t be a guilt-ridden follower, please!

I have updated my About Me post and I recommend any relatively new people check it out. Always good to know who you are following.

 

 

top5

TOP 5’s:

 

– Book Review Posts –

Night of Knives

Moon Over Soho

Way of Shadows

Dune

The Kantovan Vault

These reviews really surprised me. I know part of it is that by the end of the year those reviews got more views because of a bigger audience, but still, Night of Knives? That went up in March and stayed on top all year. Weird…

 

– Non-Review Posts – 

Mr Mercedes – I’ve Read 3%

A Milestone

Survival Saturday – The Intro Post

I Will Make Them Cry

Bookstooge & the Invisible Reader

Mr Mercedes  post got top billing because of the smiley face picture I used, I think. Turns up in a lot of google searches. If it isn’t that, then I’m super confused. The Invisible Reader post rocketed up the rankings making it into the top 5 in less than a week.  Either my whining was super annoying effective or it resonated with a lot of readers.

 

– Commentors – + Bonus Commentors

OrangutanLibrarian

Lashaan

Manuel

Space and Sorcery

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Mr and Mrs NW

DragonsandZombies

While I do bite peoples’ heads off when the occasion calls for it,  I do try to be nice to first time commentors; unless you are a troll/sjw, an author peddling your book or some random blogger trying to guilt me into following you. Other than that, you’re more than welcome to comment away. And as the above people prove, you can comment on multiple posts and live to tell your grandchildren about it! Well, except that one guy. But I buried him pretty deep and am sure no one will ever find the body. See, you’re totally safe here!

 

– Movies –

Since I reviewed less than 10 movies this year, and the Death Note franchise took up 4 of those places, I’m going to wait until  next year to list a Top 5 for these. That being said,  I will list my top 2. Cause you have to have more than one to truly have “A List”, right?

Doctor Strange

John Wick 2

 

 

I think that wraps up the year. Whether it actually does or not, I’m plumb out of words, so there’s the end.

Hope you all as good a 2017 as I’ve had and I hope that 2018 will be even better!

 

bookstooge

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57 thoughts on “Bookstooge Reviews 2017

  1. cagedunn says:

    What a listicle! I think it beats any other’s list/s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really cool to see your stats (another introverted stats junkie here). Good luck with getting to that 100 goal.

    Btw I just read your updated about section. Tell Mrs B we would love to have her on WordPress 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Pssst, I’ve got some “clean” stats right around the corner. Honest, genuine 100% colombian stats. It’s the good stuff! Hehehe.

      She was a huge xanga user in college [and that’s how we met actually. I ran across her blog and bam, years later we got married!] but hasn’t really been so much in the past decade. If I can get her as a sub-poster here, I’ll consider that a victory 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. HCNewton says:

    Daunting to look at the year like this…well done, mon ami

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Thank you! I think this is why I like to do one huge End of Year post instead of splitting it up like I’ve seen others do this year.
      I WANT my year to be daunting. I read a lot and posted a lot, so somebody has to suffer!!!
      😀

      Like

  4. To quote Bilbo Bagging: “My, have you been productive!” 🙂
    And focusing on at least one of your post’s topics, my heartfelt thanks for your “Surviving a Bad Book” series: I think of as precious community service – there’s nothing worse than a bad book, and your sacrifice in rooting them out and exposing them is greatly appreciated 😀

    Have a great 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, looks like you had a pretty good year! I hope the coming one will be great for you. And I hope you enjoy Murder on the Orient Express just as much as I did this year. I’m yet to see the movie tho 🙈 Good luck on those 100!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. H.P. says:

    Oh man, I better step my commenting game up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay stats!!! Wow that’s a lot of posts!! Quite good that the number of bad books tailed off there in the ratings.

    I enjoyed your favourite things, but I’m really looking forward to more of your surviving a bad book series to be honest 😉

    And I definitely enjoy your film posts too!

    And I’m still blown away by the fact that you’ve read 3000+ books (just WHOA!! Endlessly impressed here!)

    I would actually really like to get through the rest of Shakespeare this year too. It might be a stretch- but it’s been on my to do list forever. As has reading more Dickens.

    The Invisible reader post was fantastic 😉

    Good luck on the 100 goal!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OlaG says:

    I do enjoy your stomping and seething – it’s a sign you care about the things you read, and what could be better in a “bookophile”? 🙂 Nice stats!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Matt Ries says:

    Wow, almost 200 books and 67K+ pages. I can’t even imagine…well I can because it’s more than my last three years of read combined.

    If I may make a suggestion for Shakespeare, what I did when I read through everything of his back in 2014 was read 4 or 5 pages a day (some days more if I close to finishing an Act or Play). It might not seem much, but with your issue with verse it might help you get through them faster. Just a helpful suggestion.

    And thanks for including me among your “Death Kings”, I appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Thanks Matt. I’ll definitely take that advice.

      As for being a Deathking, as long as you keep posting, I’ll keep on following. Most of the people from Booklikes who started WP’s when things broke a lot on bl have puttered out. I think I have less than 5 now who regularly post? And so I consider those handful wordpress’ers now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great stats for you last year, yeah!

    It’s really cool to see that 2 Malaz novels were your highlights and even ‘Gardens of the Moon’ made it as your favourite ReRead! Maybe this will motivate me to finally continue my ReRead of the series as well and get to all of the new books by Erikson and Esslemont! I am not in a rush though. And I am also confident that I will feel like MoI again soon. This is where I am still stuck!

    Oh, and by the way, I started the “Shadows of the Apt’ series. So far, like it! I can see where it is going, but I don’t mind it. Listen to the beetle, folks! 😀

    Looking forward to more of your ‘Survival’-posts! Both of them 😀 Have a great 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I found that not doing a buddy-read of Malaz made it easier, as I wasn’t getting so focused on the book Buddyreading was like going scuba diving whereas my regular reading was just going for a boat ride on the lake. I learned a valuable lesson there!

      Glad to hear about the Apt 🙂

      I figure both Survive’s should be a thing for most of the year. Thankfully, if you want to put it that way, I’ve got a deep back catalogue of books to choose stinkers from 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve read Murder on The Orient Express when I was 11 years old and totally fell in love with Agatha Christie, so I hope you will find it likeable 😀 Great stats to start off this new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tyson Adams says:

    194 books? Wow, that is great going. Makes my 66 look like a beginners effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not a re-reader of books (or a re-watcher of films), so I’d love to see you do a post in 2018 about what motivates you to re-read something versus trying a brand-new book.

    Or am I the only one who doesn’t re-read, and everyone else would just say “duh” if you wrote a post about why to re-read?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Don’t worry PDC, God loves even someone like you 😉

      On a less theological note, that’s not a bad idea at all. I’ve never given it a thought, as re-reading is just something I’ve always done. So to write out the details would probably be as good for me as for anyone.

      I’ll try to remember this.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I for one am glad you made the move to wordpress this year, and that we’ve become blog buddies. You’re absolutely right that networking/reading blogs takes up a lot of time, but it’s definitely a lot more fun to interact with book lovers who have the same interests versus languishing on a platform that time forgot, i.e. booklikes. It’s such a shame what happened to that site.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Thanks Mogsy. It was surprising to me how many people from Booklikes I dropped when I didn’t have to follow them. Which means I’d been following them JUST because they were the only active people. Lesson learned I guess.

      Booklikes is what happens when a speculator tries to copy some other website without the dedication behind it 😦

      Like

  15. @lynnsbooks says:

    WordPress is certainly a time eater but it’s so good for reading blog posts from people with similar tastes and it’s a great way to find new books – at least my tbr thinks so. You’ve read so many books, it’s really impressive. I would also like to read more Dickens – I’ve only read two of his and quite fancy David Copperfield. Shakespeare, I’ve only read A Midsummer Night’s Dream but I really enjoyed it so I should continue. Good luck with reading your omnibus edition and Happy 2018
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I am really looking forward to my Dickens re-read. I like how the man wrote.

      Shakespeare, I suspect, is going to be one of those “chores” that I’ll appreciate years later 🙂

      Like

  16. That is wonderful about the Pastor! I hope it continues and you find this to be a very rewarding and inspiring year 🙂

    I miss Calibre. I had it on my PC. But when I started working remotely from home, I moved all personal (i.e. blogging) to my chromebook. Haven;t tried Library Thing. Tempted to take a look but not sure I need another time sink haha.

    Happy new year my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Thanks BVT. It’s is amazing what a difference a leader who wants to inspire by doing instead of telling can make.

      I thought Calibre was now had a version for linux? Oh wait, chromebook. Right. That is actually one of the main reasons I’ve never considered switching to a chromebook. I use Calibre too much.

      LT is an alternative to Goodreads if you don’t like GR’s policies. Other than that, GR does just about everything better. Except ads. My goodness, it is bad on GR with ads 😦

      And a wonderful New year to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. saloni says:

    Those are some great stats!
    Warhammer is on my TBR list but there are so many books that I’m feeling quite daunted. I’m the sort of person who HAS to finish a series once I start.
    Like you, I plan to read more books by Charles Dickens starting with Oliver Twist.
    Have a great year ahead! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      For me, Warhammer is on the same level as Forgotten Realms, ie, it doesn’t really matter where you start, just pick a sub-series and read what sounds interesting. But overall I’m not really like WH, just too bleak.

      I’ll probably go through Dickens alphabetically 🙂

      Thank you and you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. nikihawkes says:

    Great post! I like stats too – our average ratings are pretty similar and I also gave 4 stars the most often. I’ve been really stingy with 5 star ratings this last year. I really want it to mean something when I use it.

    It’s good to see your enthusiasm for Malazan because I’m embarking in a couple of days. Wish me luck. 🙂

    Also, “that is about the limit of my personal ambition” <- preach! Lol

    Also, also, great revamp on your About me page. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Yeah, I’m almost to the point where a book has to be re-read to get 5stars now. Not quite there, but almost. I want those to be real gold too.

      Are you starting as a new Malazan fan or upon a re-read? Either way, I’ll be following with, hopefully, lots of encouraging cheers!

      I find if I try to get any more “goal’ish” than that that the fun of blogging goes away and it becomes a numbers game. I don’t like that, so one goal for this year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • nikihawkes says:

        I’ve even gone so far as to go back and reassign ratings so only 25 or so books now have the 5 star honor. Now it’s definitely an emphatic endorsement lol.

        I’m a newb! I’m really excited. It’s going to be a group read on Goodreads and we’re doing the Ultimate Reading Order over the next couple of years. I’m pumped. Cheers appreciated. 🙂

        I agree – I let it become a numbers game for about a year and the outcome didn’t even change from when I was just having fun, anyway, so why bother? I figure any numerical goal will be achieved eventually if I just get to writing more lol. But it’s not the focus.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          One word of caution on GR. WAtchout for fanboys, the kind who will rip you up for not noticing one tiny detail. I don’t know that they’ll be in your group, but when I was on GR back in the day, those kind of people were the bane of all Malazan groups.

          Liked by 1 person

          • nikihawkes says:

            Hahaha okay thank you – caution noted! I actually plan to take a laid back participation role because I have a feeling they’re going to be hashing those details into the ground while I’m over here just wanting to casually read the book. We have at least 10 early starters and I’m exhausted already and I’m not even picking it up until the weekend. 😂

            Liked by 1 person

  19. I know we’ve had this discussion before, but my word you read a lot. I literally fill every spare moment I have with reading and I can only manage about 7 books/month. 2624 pages/month. And I read fast, too. You’re a book reading God.

    Great recap. If I can find the time I’ve got one planned as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I actually enjoy your rants and stompings around like a 2 year old, but perhaps I’m unique in my enjoyments. 😉 So interesting to see your stats and to compare. I find because you read live authors mostly and in a more common medium, you have more conversation and contact than I do. But because of my classic bent, my reviews are consistently being viewed so I have a few that have over 1000 views and are still climbing. But, of course, I don’t get the interaction which reduces the fun. I never thought of using Calibre for reviews. Hmm ….. Is it my imagination that you’re getting more lenient with your reviews? Or is it just because you’re re-reading more books that you’ve liked? Glad to hear you have a pastor whom you can respect. And that’s all I’ll say about that! 😉 I hope you have a wonderful year and that your reading surpasses your wildest hopes! Oh, and thanks so much for commenting on my food blog ….. I really appreciate the support! 🙂 If I have time, I’ll contact you for a read-along! Perhaps Jekyll and Hyde if you haven’t read it yet …… I know that we were discussing it as a possible at one time …..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      1) Nah, most of my ranty type posts seem to get the most views and conversations going.

      2) Stats & style. Yeah, the kind of reading that you do and the style of your review, almost a college level review, makes your posts an internet magnet. And honestly, the interaction is what I love, it really is.

      3) I thought I was getting more lenient, then I checked and almost 1/3 of my books were re-reads and most of those improved. But I’m also cutting series quicker that don’t keep up. Instead of reading 10 books that average 2.75, I’ll cut it at book four and still get an average of 3. Those little bits add up over the year.
      Also, I now simply avoid books that I don’t think I’ll like, like 99% of young adult. I don’t even try now, it just isn’t worth it.

      4) A good pastor is worth his weight in gold 🙂

      5) Thank you and I hope you have a great year too.

      6) With my survival saturday posts, I’m now aware of food blogs, so why not try one of someone I “kind of” know? 😀

      7) I’m up for a readalong if and when you are. Jekyll and Hyde would work too, as I don’t have that under my belt since I started recording. But I’ll leave it in your court, as you know what your schedule is better than me. And I think mine is lighter overall and easier to work things in 😀

      Cheers!

      Like

  21. Awesome post man. It’s always fascinating to have insight on other folks’ stats. So many books read, so posts published too! I’m quite glad to have ya full-time on WordPress too. A much-needed presence in the community. 😀 Thanks a lot for the shoutouts too. I appreciate it a lot. I spot a lot of great books to be read and hope that 2018 will turn out to be a fantastic year for books and movies for you sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      There is a handful of people that I can, without thinking, recommend to people who read like I do. You are definitely one of them.

      Whereas at times I feel like I’m being nothing but bombastic and showmanship’y, I always get a sense of careful consideration when reading your posts. I appreciate it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Zezee says:

    All the best on your 2018 goals!
    It’s the first I’m hearing about some of the programs you mentioned there, like Calibre. That’s great that you try to keep up with the blogs you follow. I try to do the same, but it takes a long time to get through the posts so it gets difficult when busy.
    Anyway, I hope 2018 is good to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Thanks Zezee. Glad you stopped by.
      The whole “so many posts” thing definitely gets overwhelming, one of the main reasons I limit myself to how many people I follow. It’s simple survival for me 😀

      And I trust you have a great 2018 as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Manuel Antao says:

    Man! You’re reading Christie! What about P. D. James? It’s much better imho… Can’t you squeeze her in? She’s a blast. No Reynolds? “Elysium Fire” is coming out in January. “The Prefect” is a good way to start (“Elysium Fire” is a sequel). Reynolds is not the most stylish of SF writers around, and truth be told, some of his books are crap. But sometimes a gem comes out of the blue…

    Book Stats:

    Books Read: 194 (111)

    Pages Read: 67,400 +/- (30K)

    I’d be able to have these stats only if I was able to live a parallel universe where time slows down. I’d take my books there, Read them and teh come back to tell tale…

    “The Complete Shakespeare”. Start with The Histories. If you’re familiar with British history, they’ll become second nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      1) It is only ONE Christie. And I’ve read her stuff before so I’m familiar with her and won’t be tempted to binge on her again. James on the other hand is brand new territory. She’ll have to wait her turn for years and years 😉

      2) Reynolds is in my Calibre library, so I should be getting to him later this year. I’ve got his Revelation Space sequence, his Poseiden’s Children trilogy and then a standalone or two, which maybe short stories.

      3) Get rid of your kids, stop ski’ing and enjoy the snow from inside a building. That’s the secret to reading so much 😉

      4) I’m just going to bull through Shakespeare from beginning to end. My breadth of Brit history is something like this:
      They fought each other, the french and pretty much everybody else. Then America kicked their butt. The End 🙂
      Oh, and that Princess lady died in a carcrash or something.
      😀

      Like

  24. […] my 2017 in Review Post I lamented how none of my posts had broken the 100 view mark and that that was one of my goals for […]

    Like

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